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Old 07-13-2014, 10:12 AM   #1
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Why All The Subarus?

Just returned to my home state from my second Adirondack trip in the last four weeks. Peculiar question, maybe, but why the preponderance of Subaru Outbacks/Foresters on the Adirondack roads? Many with the paddle-powered vehicle of choice lashed to the roof racks, of course. Is there some sort of transportation cult I should be aware of? I have heard some Subarus have that "can run forever" reputation ( I have never owned one myself), but jeeeeese, what is in the water people are drinking?!?!
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:37 AM   #2
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They are great cars. Probably an all wheel drive thing too.
5 of my hiking buddies drive a Sube.
Not me, I'm a Chevy Silverado guy.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Justin View Post
They are great cars. Probably an all wheel drive thing too.
I have an Outback and a Forester, each with around 120K miles on them. Any day now I expect to take delivery on another new Forester that I have ordered. As a member of LNT, I get Subaru VIP pricing, no haggle at 2% below dealer's invoice. I've ordered all three of my Subarus this way. Check out which organizations offer this... LNT, ACA, numerous others.

Zero problems with my Subarus, no major or minor maintenance other than normal oil changes, tires, and brakes. Living in lake effect snow country, the AWD lets me crawl up my long steeply sloped driveway in deep snow, when previously with other cars I would often be stuck at the bottom even with a running start.

Several of my canoe paddling friends, and fellow SAR team members, own Subarus as well. For the real heavy stuff around home or for transporting a 32 foot voyageur canoe, I use a Ford F-250 left to me by my dad.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:53 AM   #4
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We are on our second used Subaru Outback, got a 98 in 07 and had it till the week before Christmas 08 when a pickup truck ran a stop sign and it was totaled, mostly due to age. Bought an 04 on New Year's 2009 with 124k miles and now it is up to 149k. It's our only vehicle so we try to take good care of it. We live east of Pulaski and get a lot of lake effect snow some years so the AWD is a help, plus we needed a car big enough to transport a goat in the trunk on occasion. They are very popular around here too, they have a reputation for being dependable and long lasting and not getting stuck and thus far ours have lived up to it. I have never been to the Adirondacks in winter but I imagine the snow would be at least as bad as here and the hills are steeper too so I can see why they would be desirable.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:54 AM   #5
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I was looking for AWD, something big enough to put an 85lb dog & a weekend's worth of gear in, while reasonable on gas mileage (for AWD anyway) and low enough so I can load a kayak on myself easily. And so I've got a 2005 Outback.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:33 PM   #6
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215K miles on my hand-me-down forester (2003). My wife likes the AWD as she is more afraid of me getting stuck somewhere on a dirt rd than anything else. The older forester is short, so loading/unloading canoes is a breeze. the longer profile of the vehicle helps with canoes too. MPG could be better, but for an AWD it is ok. I'd rather it was a U.S. car. My wife has converted the whole family (except her father) into subaru drivers.
"There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

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Old 07-13-2014, 01:46 PM   #7
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Can't resist sharing this photo of a mid 80's Subaru, trapped and abandoned in a spot where it probably never should have been, along Buttermilk Road Extension.

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Old 07-13-2014, 02:25 PM   #8
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They have a good balance of a lot of things - they are popular all over NY, not just in the North Country.

For me, it was AWD coupled with ground clearance. Gas mileage of a 4 cyl version is better than any truck or V6 SUV and the interior space is adequate even for monster car camping trips where you're bring a lot of junk. Easily fit two full size canoes on one as well. And if you want to tow a small trailer, they'll do that too!

There are better vehicles for fuel economy, or off roading. But for getting to a trailhead, anytime of year, it's hard to beat them.

If you feel confident with a wrench, they are also very well thought out and come apart easy. One knowledgeable about how they go together can have the entire engine out in less than 2 hrs.

The resale is usually pretty good as well. But a lot of people keep them until they end up in a ravine or rust away
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:40 PM   #9
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They're great in the snow/ice/ sleet.... And with 6-8 months of winter a year, that's important! (That and the fact that our outback gets about double the mileage of our tundra.)
"Ahh! The old fishing hole... so peaceful and relaxing. Doesn't even matter if I catch a single fish -- ah! Come on you stupid fish, take the bait! Don't make me come down there!" -Homer Simpson
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:57 PM   #10
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Have had two Foresters. We have to pay to have our camp road plowed. Its a mile long. The plow guy comes when the snow stops or 12 inches has fallen. It's nice to be able to get out and get uphill whenever we need to.. We live on a lake and any way out involves a five hundred vertical foot hill climb.

Equally important is driving in mud season. Snow is like sandpaper compared to slick mud over frozen ground.

People from out of the mountains wouldn't be expected to understand. And they don't. The wrecker guys make lots of money in the winter offa tourists.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:40 AM   #11
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You think there are a lot in NY, visit Vermont...I think its a requirement...Love my Subee...

Add snow tires at winter and gets you places...Sleeps two in the back, add car top for extra storage and a rear cargo carrier for your coolers and your ready...
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:54 AM   #12
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I have two Outbacks. 2006 and 2011. Both 4 cyl. My next one will be another Subaru. Yes, they are foreign cars, but at least they are made in Indiana. (Most of them, anyway.) The body style for the Outback changed in either 2009 or 2010. I really like it. A little more room inside vs the older design. I was leary of the CVT (continuously variable transmission) on the 2011, but I now really like it. I get almost 30 mpg with the car fully loaded and with a 17 foot canoe on top for the trip from the Syracuse area to the central Adirondacks. The manual mode on the automatic transmission is useful. If it is really slick out, you can start out in 2nd gear. And you can downshift when descending a steep road instead of braking the whole way.

A bunch of us rent a house near Gore Mountain each February. The house has a circular drive up to the highway, but either branch of the drive has a steep uphill section at the highway. You have to stop at the top of the drive to check for oncoming traffic. From a complete stop at the top of this section, the car just walks out onto the highway even in deep snow.

I've been accused of belonging to a cult, but that's OK.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:12 AM   #13
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A couple of weeks ago, while driving my 2011 Outback, I hit a deer a few miles south of Watertown on I81. Couldn't stop in time and hit him dead center on the car. Fortunately, I think he tried to change direction just before impact and he lost his footing on the pavement and went down. Only damage was a badly dented front license plate and a broken license plate bracket. Pretty lucky.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:39 AM   #14
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I'll bet a lot of the Subaru owners don't know about this:

On the older Outbacks, 2006 for sure, if you get a flat time on the front, you have to replace it with one of the good rear tires, and put the donut spare tire on the rear. Then you have to get under the hood and pull a fuse so that the car is now front wheel drive only. If the small spare tire is on one of the drive wheels, the computer thinks the tire is slipping and it goes nuts trying to compensate for it.

Check your manual.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:52 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by fintastic View Post
Is there some sort of transportation cult I should be aware of?
There may not be a transportation cult, but the number and intensity of the posts in this thread in such a short time display very strong feelings about the ideal suitability of the Subaru vehicle to Adirondack conditions: high clearance, awd, low emissions, carrying capacity, low initial cost, and enough dealers on the fringes of the Blue Line to ensure mechanical assistance, even though it's seldom required. In addition, die hard standard transmission folks are able to indulge their preference without being laughed out of the showroom(at least it was still true when I last checked.) As suggested elsewhere, resale value is close to irrelevant. Connecticut is also well represented in the Subaru fan club.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:09 AM   #16
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I went from a Volvo to a 2009 Outback one year ago and wish I had done so a lot sooner.

However, strange as it might seem, I will have to change a $1600 part on Thursday. Catalytic converter I believe (in French the dealer calls it the catalysateur). This part is under warranty to 130,000 kms but luckily I took my vehicle in at 128,500.

Great car other than this anomaly. Can't say enough about it. I see tons of Subies around the dacks.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:22 AM   #17
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We have a Forester for towing our boats, getting to work on snowy days, and all those rough ADK roads.

When I was 17 (1976), I was the first one in my town (Lake George) to have a Subaru 4WD station wagon. Most people had never heard of such a thing. It was $4,000 brand new. What a marvel it was! Often got close to 40 mpg. Never loved a car so much since.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by viewseeker View Post
You think there are a lot in NY, visit Vermont...I think its a requirement...Love my Subee...
Not just a requirement, it's the Vermont state car! I'm on my 5th one. The only one that didn't do at least 200K miles was the one my wife totaled. BTW, they have an excellent reputation for being safe and for not putting you in a position where you need that feature. She walked away from a head-on collision.

My latest is a 2012 Forester. With a fresh set of Hakkepelita's on it I believe it would climb an iced brick wall. My son Thomas drives the 2001 Outback that I replaced with the Forrester. It's still running great.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:51 PM   #19
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Well, evidently a lot of unified responses. Gas mileage, reliability, awd seem to be the reasons. If it works, go with it. Perhaps I'll look into one for my next vehicle. Although, I am partial to my '03 Grand Cherokee with 228k miles and going strong. I think I need the extra space for my family of 5 + cargo and it's solid all-terrain ability. However, new GCs are not cheap, and the 19-21 mpg is not ideal, but it is a great balance of power and utility. Thanks for all the informative responses. Especially enjoyed Justin's photo.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:02 PM   #20
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I love my 2010 Forester! It gets me and my gear where ever I want to go, with snow tires on I can't believe the stuff I can drive on and through. I think I had it two days when I had to go pick my daughter up from work at night in a snowstorm with well over a foot of snow on the road and the drifts were a lot deeper. It did great-the hardest part was knowing where the road was under all that snow!
Ten years ago I was driving my wife's Outback when we got rear ended and jammed under the back of a tractor trailer. We were at a stop several feet behind the back of the tractor trailer but the underinsured yahoo driver behind us didn't noticed we were stopped till it was waaaay to late on a 50 mph road. The radiator was demolished and smashed into the engine block, the driver side rear glass gave way. The frame was bent. If my wife hadn't turned to check on the girls in the back seat just before we got hit she would have been fine. When she turned to look at the kids her left knee was resting on the center console, we were hit and the collision shattered the bottom half of her kneecap : ( No more skiing or long distance hiking : ( but the car did so good in the accident we went out and got another one!
Several years later I was in my Civic, and got rear ended AGAIN (don't ride with me). The car was totaled, the driver seat broke due to the collision and I had bad whiplash. Thinking only of gas mileage I got another Civic. A year later I ditched the Civic for the Forester. The Civic was terrible in the snow, even with snow tires and it was terribly uncomfortable for me.
Love Subarus!!!
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